How To Be A Great First-Time Pet Owner

June 20, 2018 at 10:16 pm Leave a comment

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Congratulations, you have decided to get a pet for the first time! Being a pet owner can be an incredibly rewarding and joyful experience. This is particularly true for recovering addicts, who can find a loyal, unconditional friend and an invaluable source of stress relief in their pet.

However, having a pet comes with responsibility. You’ll need to be in charge of the well-being of a living creature and to love it as unconditionally as it will love you. Being a good pet owner will be important throughout your animal’s life, but it starts before you even bring them home.

Choose The Best Animal For You
Not all pets are created equal. Some take more work and money to own and some require a lot more hands-on attention. When choosing which pet to get, consider their budgets, but also their needs and natural tendencies.

For example, dogs tend to be more affectionate than cats, but they need to be walked every day and require more hands-on care. Cats, on the other hand, tend to be low-maintenance. Some experts even think that cats offer a more realistic model for healthy relationships than dogs.

Consider Your Breed Options
Once you have chosen what animal you want, you need to think about breeds. This is particularly applicable to dogs, where different breeds are almost entirely different animals. A Chihuahua is not the same as a Golden Retriever. A few things you need to consider:

  • Size of your home – Some dogs need more room than others, and some need large open spaces such as a yard. DogTime has a list of breeds that adapt well to apartment living, either due to their size or temperament.
  • Activities – What kinds of activities will you want to do with your pet? Choose a breed that goes well with the type of things you like to do. For example, if you like hiking and outdoor pursuits, get an active dog that enjoys being outside.
  • Allergies – If you have allergies to animal hair, you can still get a pet. You just need to make sure you get a breed that is hypoallergenic, or less likely to produce and accumulate dander and saliva, which is what most people are actually allergic to. This also goes for cats: breeds with short, fine fur – or no fur at all – are less likely to trigger allergies.

Prepare Your Home
Once you have chosen your new best friend, you need to make sure your house is ready. Make sure you have bought all your pet accessories, including plenty of food and toys.

Then, you need to consider the layout of your pet’s things. Where do you want your pet to spend most of its time? Where will they eat, drink, sleep, and play?

You also need to make sure your house is safe. Keep an eye out for anything that your pet could choke on, trip on, or fall through and keep anything dangerous well out of reach.

Make Them Feel At Home
Don’t worry if your pet takes a few days to get comfortable in their new home. This can be particularly challenging for rescue animals that will invariably be nervous in a new and unknown environment. According to Candidae, the best way to help a rescue dog get acclimatized is by providing constant food and positive reinforcement, giving them space and limiting their access to the house at first in order to not overwhelm them.

It may also take a while for your pet to bond with you – that’s ok. As long as you continue to provide them with love, affection and care, they will learn to trust you and develop the animal-human bond that makes being a pet owner so rewarding.

It is important to not rush into a big decision like getting a pet. Take some time to do your research about different breeds and what they need and to make sure both you and your home are ready for new addition. This will make all the difference in the world toward being a great pet owner and having a happy, long-lasting relationship with your furry friend.

Article written by Jessica Brody

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Entry filed under: Cats, Dogs, Guest Posts. Tags: , , , .

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